To the Editor:

I am certainly thankful for the efforts local people and the county government have made to help avoid a COVID-19 outbreak in Grant County and to prepare for if/when we get more cases.

I have watched Grant County Court meetings online and have been reading minutes and articles over the past months. I join many people in being dismayed at the lack of reporting and transparency, the high overrun in approved expenditures and how some of the funds were spent. I remain unclear as to why a sheriff’s deputy was appointed to run the EOC and why he quit.

One of the most interesting things I have noted were the hours said to have been spent on COVID-19-related work by County Commissioners Jim Hamsher and Sam Palmer. Included in the county court minutes from June 10 was a letter from Seth Klingbeil, EOC cybersecurity officer. It stated that Jim and Sam had each worked 1,000 hours on COVID-19 tasks. Thinking this seemed quite high, I started with the date they were appointed (about March 10), did some simple calculations and found that each of them must have worked 11 hours a day, seven days a week for that three months! Also, if Jim and Sam took Sundays off, that meant they worked 13 hours a day, six days a week — on COVID-19 only, let alone their county court responsibilities. I would think the public would be as amazed as I am!

Clearly, we all should and do appreciate the work Jim and Sam and many others did and continue to do. But what I look for from government is honesty, that is: accurate and timely reporting — in hours, activities, costs, etc. Otherwise, how am I going to believe anything that is reported from our county government? Please respect the citizens.

Victoria Thompson

Mt. Vernon

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